Cadernos de Saúde Pública
versión impresa ISSN 0102-311X
CASTRO, Arachu y WESTERHAUS, Michael. Access to generic antiretrovirals: inequality, intellectual property law, and international trade agreements. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.23, suppl.1, pp. S85-S96. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2007001300010.
The governments of numerous low- and middle-income countries are currently instituting rules that strengthen changes in domestic intellectual property legislation, often made to conform to the mandates of "free" trade agreements signed with the United States. These measures frequently include intellectual property provisions that extend beyond the patent law standards agreed upon in recent World Trade Organization negotiations, which promised to balance the exigencies of public health and patent holders. In this paper, we analyze the concern that this augmentation of patent law standards will curtail access to essential medicines, particularly as they relate to the AIDS pandemic. We critically examine the potential threats posed by trade agreements vis-à-vis efforts to provide universal access to antiretroviral medications and contend that the conditioning of economic development upon the strengthening of intellectual property law demands careful attention when public health is at stake. Finally, we examine advocacy successes in challenging patent law and conclude that greater advocacy and policy strategies are needed to ensure the protection of global health in trade negotiations.
Palabras llave : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Anti-retroviral Agents; Drug Industry; Generic Drugs.